TORONTO, June 5, 2012 /CNW/ -The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) supports the students of Québec, as they continue to strike for accessible education. Calling upon Premier Jean Charest and the Québec Liberal government to negotiate with the students in good faith, OPSEU also condemns Québec's Bill 78 and demands that it be rescinded.
"Access to education is a basic human right, not a privilege," said OPSEU President, Warren (Smokey) Thomas. "This has become about more than just tuition fees. OPSEU encourages our 140,000 members across Ontario to join in the protest rallies and stand in solidarity with the striking students in Quebec."
"Growing student debt is a symptom of a much larger problem of growing inequality," said OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo Almeida. "Austerity is not a solution to this problem. Properly funding our public services is a necessary part of ensuring that Canada stands as an example of economic success."
The introduction of Bill 78 by the government of Québec is of deep concern to OPSEU. The Bill limits freedom of assembly guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Freedoms as well as the right to strike.
"It is unacceptable that this new Bill threatens teachers with criminal prosecution and fines for accommodating striking students or for failing to perform all of their normal work functions," said Thomas. "Bill 78 must be rescinded immediately." OPSEU represents more than 130,000 workers across Ontario.
For further information:
Emily Visser, OPSEU Communications: 416-557-7936